Online Billpay “Issues” (Or, Why Wachovia Disappointed Me Today…)
I have been a Wachovia customer for more than seven years. In the past, I have been pleased with their service and the people who work at the local branch in my area are super-nice.
Today, Wachovia (actually, four of Wachovia’s customer service representatives) disappointed me. Here’s the story:
I scheduled an online billpay transaction using Wachovia’s billpay interface. I scheduled for my electric bill to be paid on April 9. Apparently, Wachovia has to ‘write’ and actual check and mail it to my electric company. (In other words, it is not a bank-to-bank transaction, but a physical check is printed and mailed.) Well, I SCHEDULED the payment ON March 25th, to be paid on April 9th. (Too clarify: I went online and entered the payment information ON March 25th, but the date for Wachovia to “pay” the bill was April 9th.) The bill was actually due April 10th. My electric company did not RECEIVE the check until April 12th, 3 DAYS AFTER it should have reached them. Thus, I was charged a $3 late-fee. Now, you may be saying to yourself, NCN, you should have instructed Wachovia to make the payment EARLIER, and not “cut it so close”. And, you would be right! But,s:
Are all my payments sent electronically?
We cannot guarantee that 100% of your payments will be sent electronically. Some billers cannot receive payments electronically. Keep in mind that whether the payment is sent electronically or as a paper payment, the service delivers the payment to the biller on the scheduled pay date.
When does the biller receive my payment?
The biller receives the payment on or before the scheduled pay date you specified. Some billers may not always credit your account on the same day that they receive the payment. Allow for extra time in this situation so the payment is not considered late. If you want to verify the payment posted, you may want to wait a day or two after the scheduled pay date before contacting the biller.
Please note the highlighted portions. I am AWARE that the biller may NOT choose to CREDIT my account on the day that they receive payment, but Wachovia CLEARLY states that the PAYMENT WILL ARRIVE ON OR BEFORE THE SCHEDULED PAY DATE!!!
I called the electric company, and due to my record of always paying my bill on time, they removed the $3 service charge. I then called Wachovia and spoke to FOUR different CSR’s. Paraphrasing, each one of them said, “Wachovia mailed the checks on the 4th, and the payment SHOULD have been there by the 9th. Once the payment leaves Wachovia, it is NO LONGER OUR RESPONSIBILITY.” Each CSR then talked about how I should have scheduled the payment “four or five days” before the due date. I acknowledge that, to be on the safe-side, I should give the BILLER more time to actually DEPOSIT the check, BUT, I should be able to count on WACHOVIA to get the check to them ON TIME! (If you are unfamiliar with Wachovia’s billpay system, they actually provide you with a pop-up calendar which lets you know IF they can deliver a payment on a specific date.)
I not only have to worry about whether a check will get “lost in the mail”, or whether a biller will credit my account, I NOW have to worry if WACHOVIA will actually GET a payment TO my billers ON TIME!
One more reason to go “cash only”. (New website? No Checks Needed…)
Oh yeah, to add insult to injury, WACHOVIA debited my account on the 9th, 3 DAYS before the electric company even received the check!